Mt. Pleasant Township’s Yorktown schoolhouse in Delaware County

John B. Brown taught the first school in Yorktown at a hewed-log structure built in 1842 that lasted until 18581. Its replacement was a two-room frame building erected on land set aside by town founder Oliver H. Smith. In 1880, a three-room brick schoolhouse that was two stories tall and three bays wide became Yorktown’s third.

Photo taken April 10, 2021.

The 1880 Yorktown school featured a hipped roof and a double-tiered wooden cupola. Just before it was constructed, a petition suggesting that Yorktown should provide a second schoolhouse for its pupils was turned down by local officials2. Unsurprisingly, the building was soon outgrown.

The 1898 Yorktown school. Image courtesy the Yorktown Indiana Historical Alliance.

A four-room building was built to supplant the 1880 schoolhouse at the southwest corner of West High and South Broadway streets in 1898. Although the 1880 schoolhouse still served as a voting place for Mount Pleasant Township’s third precinct through at least 19003, it was abandoned two years later4,

The Yorktown school, as it appeared on November 9, 2015.

By 1911, the 1880 schoolhouse found a second life as a duplex. The building’s original second story, roofline, and cupola were removed during its conversion5, so its present iteration bears little resemblance to the building’s original design. Truncated windows beneath its gables were once taller and provided light to the school’s second-story classroom, but the most apparent reminder of its provenance are the windows on its east side.

The 1898 school as it appeared after 1922. Image courtesy the Yorktown Indiana Historical Alliance.

In 1922, the 1898 schoolhouse underwent a dramatic transformation that added a 40×70 foot gymnasium, an assembly room, five classrooms, and offices during a project that covered the original building’s brick with stucco, lopped off the tower, and removed the hipped roof6. That’s the building my grandparents remembered, but it was condemned as a fire trap in 19547 and torn down after a new structure at the corner of Smith Street and Yorktown-Gaston Pike was completed two years later.

The original high school wing of the 1956 Yorktown School, as it appeared on March 21, 2020 before it was demolished.

That’s the school my mom, uncles, and aunt remember! The 1956 school received myriad alterations over the decades, including additions in 1958, 1964, and 1972. The most substantial transformation occurred in 2021 when its original high school wing was replaced by a new middle school structure. Despite all the changes, the 1956 gymnasium and elementary wing still remain standing. Those are the portions of the building that I remember- I went to third, fourth, and fifth grade there!

Photo taken April 10, 2021.

The 1880 schoolhouse also remains standing. Despite heavy modifications, the building is a reminder of a simpler era of education in Yorktown to anyone interested in seeking it out. That it remains in use as a home nearly a hundred and fifty years after it was constructed is a testament to its builders, local officials, and the thriftiness and ingenuity of the people who converted it into a dwelling shortly after the turn of the twentieth century.

Sources Cited
1 Helm, T. B. (1881). Mount Pleasant Township. In History of Delaware County, Indiana: With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers. book, Kingman Brothers.
2 June Jumbles (1880, June 15). The Muncie Morning News. p. 1.
3 Republicans (1900, January 8). The Muncie Morning News. p. 8. 
4 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Muncie, Delaware County, Indiana. Sanborn Map Company, 1902. Map. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,
5 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Muncie, Delaware County, Indiana. Sanborn Map Company, 1911. Map. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,
6 Bids for Yorktown’s New High School Will Be Received April 1. (1922, March 20). The Muncie Evening Press, pp. 1–1. 
7 Judge’s Decision on Yorktown School Awaits State Reports. (1954, February 12). The Muncie Star, p. 1.
8 McKinsey, D. (1968, July 18). New Yorktown High School Nears Completion. The Muncie Star, p. 29.

6 thoughts on “Mt. Pleasant Township’s Yorktown schoolhouse in Delaware County

  1. Eight days ago I stood one block from this building and had no idea. I would have gone to photograph it if I had known! I will pass back through here next week and will see if I can make time to stop.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Nice! I’m looking forward to the writeup! Another old schoolhouse, District 9’s Kilgore school, sits at the NE corner of modern-day 32 and Priest Ford Road.


  2. I can’t get past John B. Brown. I imagine that his body lies a-molderin’ in the grave even though the old song was about somebody else.


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